Improving the knowledge and behavior of workplace chemical exposures in Vietnamese–American nail salon workers: a randomized controlled trial

  • Thu QuachEmail author
  • J. Von Behren
  • J. Tsoh
  • P. Reynolds
  • L. Fu
  • T. Nguyen
  • M. Le
  • T. T. Nguyen
Original Article



We assessed the efficacy of trainings with Vietnamese nail salon owners and workers on knowledge and behaviors that could reduce exposures to toxic chemicals in nail products.


We trained Vietnamese salon owners in California (n = 77) who then trained their workers (n = 200) on best practices. In a cluster randomized controlled trial, we assessed the efficacy of the training on change in knowledge and self-reported behaviors. Data were collected from 2013 to 2016 and analyzed from 2016 to 2017.


Compared to the control group, the intervention group had significantly greater increases in knowledge about: safer nail polishes [odds ratio (OR) 3.7 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.9, 7.2)]; proper ventilation methods (OR 4.2; 95% CI 2.2, 8.1); recommended glove types (OR 3.4; 95% CI 1.9, 6.3); and recommended product handling and storage (OR 4.1; 95% CI 1.7, 9.9). The intervention also increased best practices: using safer nail polishes (OR 3.6; 95% CI 1.9, 6.8); reading product labels (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.3, 5.0); and wearing long sleeves (OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.3, 4.2).


The owner-to-worker intervention with culturally and linguistically appropriate training for salon owners who then trained workers was effective in promoting knowledge and self-reported behaviors that can reduce workplace chemical exposures.


Workplace Nails Small business Asian Americans Surveys and questionnaires Knowledge California 



Source of funding: This study was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Grant number: 5R01ES019598


This study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (Grant number 5R01ES019598).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study protocol was approved by the institutional review board of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California.

Informed consent

The study involved human subjects. Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thu Quach
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
    Email author
  • J. Von Behren
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Tsoh
    • 2
  • P. Reynolds
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. Fu
    • 3
  • T. Nguyen
    • 3
    • 4
  • M. Le
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. T. Nguyen
    • 2
  1. 1.Cancer Prevention Institute of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.University of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative/Asian Health ServicesOaklandUSA
  4. 4.State Compensation Insurance Fund, Safety and Health ServicesSanta AnaUSA
  5. 5.Asian Health Services, Administrative OfficesOaklandUSA

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